War and Revival 

Amid ongoing war, local churches in Ukraine are witnessing long prayed-for salvations.

From Message magazine issue "'Come Over and Help Us'"

War in Ukraine was not the first crisis in Oksana’s life.

Her plans had already been interrupted once before—eight years ago, when she unexpectedly discovered she was pregnant. 

As she contemplated her options, she heard about the Choose Life Center in her home city of Odesa. Drawn by the kindness of the Ukrainian staff and ABWE missionary Holly F., she completed the center’s prenatal program, joined their evangelistic Bible studies, and began attending church. Her interest in the gospel faded, however, as her son was born and spiritual questions were no longer a priority. 

When Russian missiles began to barrage Ukraine in 2022, the onslaught only added to the growing chaos in Oksana’s life. Stress from her three children, work, and her husband’s alcoholism compounded. Aware of her difficulties, Holly invited her to pick up aid packets distributed at the center and at the church’s daily outreach services. Oksana began attending the church, quickly connecting with one of the ladies and meeting with a pastor. This time her heart was ready: the church held the answers she was seeking, and she trusted Christ.  

The next time Oksana saw Holly, she greeted her excitedly: “Can you believe the message finally reached my heart?” 

Oksana was baptized a few months later and is now faithfully praying for the salvation of her husband and attending Crossroads Church in Odesa. 

Oksana trusted Christ and was baptized during the war in Ukraine. Photo: Holly F.

The Church Stands Strong 

After a year and a half of enduring full-scale war, the Ukrainian church continues to grow.  

“Yes, they are physically, spiritually, and emotionally exhausted from regular air raid sirens, power outages, and constant news of death and destruction, but they aren’t hiding in bomb shelters. They’re living and serving,” reported ABWE Ukraine team leader Mike G.  

Since February 2022, ABWE missionaries and national partners have distributed aid, provided blankets to internally displaced people, and transported food, medical supplies, and Bibles to harder-hit villages. Kyiv Theological Seminary continues to train church leaders, and the Christian Medical Association organizes mobile clinics in areas without sufficient medical care. Through the Ukraine Crisis Fund, ABWE has shipped over 5,400 pounds of medicines to aid their efforts. 

At the center stands the Ukrainian church. One Kyiv church providing food to 700 people each week related that many are hungry for the gospel: “Our church has tripled in size in the last six months, and we have rented a larger building to accommodate them.”  

Crossroads Church has adapted their focus to meet the changing needs of their community. Initially holding evangelistic services six days a week and offering hot meals and aid packets, they expanded to a second location when the situation improved in fall 2022 and restarted Bible studies, baptism classes, addiction recovery groups, and children’s and youth ministries.  

“Now our church has so many new believers that we’re forming discipleship groups,” said Holly.   

“We pray for the war to end, but for the revival to continue.”

Holly F.

Crossroads recently baptized 10 people and is considering planting a third church. They marvel at how God is working amid crisis.  

“We pray for the war to end,” conveyed Holly, “but for the revival to continue.”

A growing evening Bible study meets at Crossroads Church in Odesa. Photo: Holly F.